There are plenty of reasons to take your kids overseas: exposure to different cultures, increased adaptability and well.. it’s fun! Here are ten things to think about when planning an overseas trip with your kid(s):
1. Passport – Your child needs one to travel overseas, no matter how young.
2. Vaccinations – Before you embark on exotic travels, check with your pediatrician about recommended or required vaccinations for that region.
3. Visas – If you are an American citizen, you get a free pass into most places, but you still need to check up on visas. Some countries offer visas on arrival and others require applications weeks in advance.
4. Travel time – If you have to take a 12 hour flight with 2 stops and then drive 2 hours to your destination, you probably want to hold off till your child is a little older for your own comfort and sanity. Try to plan more time at your destination than getting to it.
5. Fares – Babies under 2 travel for 10% of the price of your ticket for international travel, which is a good reason to get head to some of those countries you’ve been dying to visit. After that, you are looking at full price tickets, or minor discounts, if any.
6. Accommodation – Request a crib when you are booking your accommodation, don’t wait to ask for one when you get there. And if they don’t have any, it’s probaby not a very kid-friendly place to begin with. Consider rebooking elsewhere.
7. Availability of products – Read up before hand on the local equivalents of all your basic baby supplies and medicines in case you run out while traveling. Make a packing list so you take extras in the first place.
8. Foods – Particularly if you have special dietary needs, foods can be difficult with babies and young children. Ensure you know what the staple foods are in the country you are visiting. If you have fussy children book accommodation with a kitchenette so you can cook for them, although we recommend sampling local fare any day!
9. Babysitting – Countries have different standards for screening and hiring babysitters, even in 5-star hotels. Ask your hotel about their screening and hiring process and guarantees before considering leaving your child with an unknown babysitter.
10. Political stability – This may sound a bit dramatic and obvious, but in today’s day and age, it is important to assess the political stability of a country before planning to take your kids there. While nothing gets you more familiar with a country than using its emergency services, it is not a situation you want to be in with your family.